Small Business Marketing With Vine and Instagram Video - Page 2

By James A. Martin
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Businesses That Should Use Vine and Instagram Video

"Any business trying to build a brand reputation can benefit from these videos," says Totka. "There are companies that have used these platforms to introduce a product, but in general, these videos are better for conveying an idea, or a brand identity."

Vine and Instagram videos are ideal for "taking customers behind the scenes, demonstrating new products/services, running competitions, or simply sharing things with their community," says Jarboe. "The only requirement is imagination and creativity, not size and category."

More specifically, restaurants, local businesses, and product-based businesses that sell visually appealing products are "probably the most appropriate types of businesses for these channels," adds DeMers.

Examples of Businesses Using Vine, Instagram Video

Here are a few examples of businesses (large and small) successfully using short-form video to appeal to customers, as recommended by Jarboe, DeMers, or Totka:

  • Tropicana's Vine video for Valentine's Day
  • BuzzFeed's "first runway show" (Vine)
  • Nike's LeBron James voicemail video (Instagram)
  • Red Bull posts videos along with photos to its Instagram account  
  • CafeMokaVa, a café in Virginia Beach, VA, and Verve Coffee Roasters in Santa Cruz, CA, both created short videos showcasing the art of making espresso

Vine vs. Instagram: Which One to Use?

Aside from the differences in maximum video length, why should a business choose Vine over Instagram video? Or should they use both?

"Businesses interested in providing video content to consumers should post to both platforms, as well as other video sites like YouTube, to provide variety in video offerings," says Totka. "A site like YouTube is great for tutorials in a particular industry, but Instagram and Vine videos are better for snapshots of what a company represents."

Jarboe points to Instagram's video filters as a key differentiator, along with the Cinema feature, which lets you stabilize video after you take it. "When you post a video on Instagram, you can also select your favorite scene from what you've recorded as your cover image," he adds. "Vine has redesigned the camera and included new grid, focus, and ghost tools. And Vine has introduced 15 channels for you to submit posts to or browse from the Explore screen, including comedy, music and nature, each with their own theme and Popular feed. I recommend using both."

DeMers recommends using both as well, and watching your analytics to see "which channel delivers better performance." 

For additional perspective, check out the Vine vs. Instagram video infographic.

5 Vine and Instagram Video Tips

Jarboe offers five tips for making the most effective Vine or Instagram videos:

1.   Be authentic. "Whether you're giving customers a behind-the-scenes snapshot or a "tweaser," short videos provide a great opportunity for small businesses to create a shared moment with their consumers and an intimate, authentic experience," Jarboe says.

2.   Make emotional connections. Because of the intimacy of the short, mobile video form, it's key to create videos that elicit powerful emotional responses.

3.   Give your audience a reason to share. "When creating the short video, think about why people would share your content," says Jarboe.

4.   Use hashtags in captions. Hashtags are highly trackable, allowing you to accurately monitor the ROI of your marketing campaign efforts.

5. Act in real time. "Users flock to Twitter and Facebook for all the latest news," Jarboe says. "Engage potential customers by showing them today's specials or last-minute deals."

Marketing with Vine and Instagram: Think It Through

As with any content marketing effort, you should always create a plan before you start.

"Decide what you're trying to accomplish before filming. After you make the video, use social media to promote it and consider a blog post that includes the embedded video—maybe even a 'behind the scenes' look at why you made it and why it matters,"  says Totka. "Measure the success through traditional means like page views, but also gauge how involved viewers are with the video. If a particular video creates a lot of buzz, follow up with a similar one."

James A. Martin is an SEO copywriter and social media consultant. Follow him on Twitter, @james_a_martin, and Google+.

Do you have a comment or question about this article or other small business topics in general? Speak out in the SmallBusinessComputing.com Forums. Join the discussion today!

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This article was originally published on September 06, 2013
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